Facebook has come a long way from offering people the opportunity to show each other pictures of their kids and share images of kittens they found on the internet. In the last year revelations about the company carrying out psychological experiments on its users have come to light; meanwhile the company has moved so far away from its original appeal to businesses that the furore over the end of earned reach on the channel has now largely died down – everyone has accepted that it’s a done deal.
Prepare for the most important 20 days of the year.
For marketers, retailers and anyone else who owns and operates a business, the fourth quarter of the year is the one to watch. It makes or breaks bricks-and-mortar stores, and it’s the time when most retailers do the majority of their business for the year. eCommerce stores can expect to see a 30% increase in conversion rate and a 5% jump in average cart size in the 20 days between Thanksgiving and Christmas, according to Criteo. The majority of purchases come after Thanksgiving: in those same 20 days there’s an average 81% increase in sales, with the busiest shopping days being Thanksgiving and Christmas day itself.
When a Five Guys restaurant opened up shop near me, I was excited to to finally have a place nearby capable of filling my appetite for a burger on par with the Deluxe from Dicks Drive In (and eliminating the drive into the city necessary for acquiring one). I'll go ahead and just admit that I frequent the place enough that I've downloaded their online ordering app onto my phone. Maybe its because their glowing red sign is one of the last things I pass before I turn onto my street, acting like a runway beacon calling me in when I'm too tired to cook for myself. The food is always good, the folks behind the counter are all friendly, but man, their logo... their logo, is just a little... boring.
It’s never simple to design a great logo at the best of times. And when it’s for the logo for an institution that’s actually several institutions, it’s even harder. And when some of those institutions don’t actually exist yet… That’s the design brief Cornell’s NYC Tech gave to Sullivan, a New York design firm.
Web design has to be like a well-engineered component: it has to do several jobs simultaneously. It has to look good. It has to make navigating the website simple and easy – easier than clicking away to something else online. And it has to make the conversion funnel that leads to sales as compelling and inviting as possible.
When a website is designed, the objective is to influence people’s behavior. That means an understanding of how design choices affect people at the psychological level is important. If putting big yellow dots on your website made people feel a compulsion to sign up to email lists, there would be a lot of polka dots on the internet. We can look to purely visual subconscious cues like this – we don’t have to delve into mysticism to see that certain colors invoke certain moods or thoughts – or to the use of language and imagery to suggest cultural references that imply trustworthiness, playfulness, professionalism, youth, authority or whatever ideas are appropriate to meet the needs of the site.
Creating a strong, memorable brand is no easy task. While most people typically associate branding with company and product logos, branding goes much deeper than that. It’s not just about how something looks like. It’s about how we experience it. How we use it. How we perceive it in our minds. There’s a story behind every design choice.
So while logos are often the most recognizable symbols that distinguish one brand from another, other key elements such as package design and unique color schemes play an equally (if not more important) role in a brand’s identity.